Members of the Calera High School Choir held a chili cook-off to raise funds to travel to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. (Contributed)
Members of the Calera High School Choir held a chili cook-off to raise funds to travel to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. (Contributed)

Archived Story

Calera High School choir headed to New York City

Published 10:31am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

Once again, Calera High School will represent the City of Calera on a national level. The award-winning Calera High School Choir will travel to New York to participate in the 2013 Carnegie Hall Honor Choir April 5-8.

CHS Choir Director Alice LaGrone said the opportunity began through conversation with Shelby County High School Choral Director Debbie Petipas.

“Debbie and I have always wanted to do a joint concert with our two choirs and she suggested performing at Carnegie Hall,” Lagrone said. “She applied, the organization extended us an invitation to sing and now we are fundraising to get there. The combined choirs total 30 students, Calera is represented with 15. The trip is scheduled the same weekend as Calera’s junior-senior prom, otherwise we would have a greater participation.”

Each choir member must raise $1,956 to cover travel, accommodations, meals and rehearsal space. To date they have raised money selling concessions at the University of Alabama’s home football games, donuts, coupon books, hot chocolate at The North Pole Express, waiting tables at Full Moon and hosting two talent shows, a chili cook-off and yard sale.

Mark your calendar for the next fundraiser, Calera High Spirit Night, at Bojangles on March 5. The choir will receive 10 percent of food sales from 5-8 p.m.

“I feel this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these students,” Lagrone said. “They are working very hard to raise the money themselves, but New York and air fare is very expensive. While we are in New York, we will experience a couple of essential attractions, including the Broadway hit musical Newsies.”

One way choir members raise money is by acquiring tax deductible sponsorships that is applied directly to their account. With a sponsorship, 100 percent of the money goes toward the cost of the trip for the student. If you would like to make a general contribution or help sponsor a specific student, contact Lagrone at 682-6100 or email

Mollie Brown is a business columnist for the Shelby County Reporter. She can be reached at

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